The messages of the Feast have sounded the trumpet for all of us to be wakeful, watchful and answer the clarion call. We need to sound the alarm throughout the world and at the same time make sure that we are one of the wise virgins so when the bridegroom knocks on the doorposts of our heart our lamps will be filled with oil.
[Donald Ward] So let's title this today, “We Have Heard; Will We Heed?’' “We Have Heard; Will We Heed?’’. This Feast should be the most pivotal spiritual experience in your life. I would like to say that I have enjoyed these Feast immensely and thanks to the speakers here, I think that our messages have been some of the best that I've ever heard at the Feast. The trumpet sounded, the handwriting is on the wall. “He who has eyes to see, let him see. He who has an ear to hear, let him hear,” and heed. You have heard, will you heed? If you wait until next year to get your spiritual house in order, you may not be here.
This next year, I believe will be one of the most pivotal years in human history. The United States will inaugurate a new president in January, whomever it is, things will be different and, of course, were to a large degree appraised of the situation on the world scene. So I know this coming year will be a very momentous year in so many different ways. This next year will be a time in which the wheat and chaff will be sifted. God is indeed “sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat,” and as you've heard today, judgment is now on the house of God. The messages of the Feast have stamped indelibly upon our minds, the urgency of the times in which we live.
This world desperately needs to know who the true God is and understand the path to lasting peace, to love, and joy. So in view of all these things, I am much more, what is your spiritual plan for overcoming and making your calling and election sure? So we'll see you here next year or wherever you may observe the Feast next year. Remember, the Kingdom of God is love, joy and peace and righteousness. The peoples of this world desperately need to be relieved of the suffering and misery and the pain that is to extend in this world. The world desperately needs godly leadership, has never before, and we desperately need to learn to fear God and become one with God, with Christ, and each member of the Body of Christ, and as much as lies within us, to live with all men peaceably.
This world is entered a terrible time of trouble. Trouble and turmoil in the world will never be the same, and we know the story of how it's going. There's no question that the world is at war. There's war being waged on many fronts, not just the so-called hot war or the shooting wars in the Middle East, but in addition to that, economic warfare is being waged, currency warfare, cyber warfares being waged. You've heard about the hackings into the various websites just in recent days and the hacking into emails of prominent world leaders, the news abounds with war, rumors of war, and every evil that the human mind can imagine. Where will the next shoe drop? It may be in a large metropolitan area and it may be on a lonely roadside, it may be in your front yard or at your doorsteps. The peoples of the world are filled with anxiety and fear.
So this world desperately needs the restitution of all things. The time in which this world is brought to the point that we can indeed say that peace on earth and goodwill toward men. The whole creation groans for the manifestation of the sons of God. Let's note that in Romans 8, it's not just the people in the Church of God at the present time, peoples all over the world and especially in the Western world in the United States know that these times are different. We've never lived in a time like the time in which we're living. The so-called information age, the democratization of information, the things that used to be that leadership used to be able to hide, they can no longer hide, is basically they're on the internet and someone is watching every step that you take and probably every telephone call you make and also every e-mail you send, every tweet, and every text, so be aware of what you put out there because it may come back on you. A word of the wise should be sufficient.
In Romans 8:18 Romans 8:18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
American King James Version×, ''For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.'' Just think of yourself as a glorious radiate being, being resurrected, and putting on your new and beautiful garments in the Kingdom of God. “For earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.” The world desperately needs the Kingdom of God to come. The world desperately needs the resurrected sons and daughters of God to be there and help them and bring the world into an era of peace and tranquility that it’s never known. “For the creature was made subject to vanity,” vanity has many different meanings but basically, it means temporary, a short period of time. Generally in the Bible when the word vanity is used as not talking about Helen Reddy’s Song of “You're So Vain” but it's temporary. It's just lasted a very short period of time.
“Not willingly, but by reason of Him who is subjected the same in hope, because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Brethren, we're going to be there, be the ones that helps in the restoration, the restitution of all things. You know, as we think about the Church and its future, we have a lot of people and to a certain degree, this is not wrong, but many are obsessed with warning the world instead of taking heed to what manner of people we ought to be. And I know there has to be a balance there. You know, sometimes United is accused of, “Well they're not really emphasizing prophesy.” Well, I think we have a healthy mix of especially in the public proclamation, a prophecy and Christian living, and I'm sure we can always improve in anything that we're doing.
You know, we have secular voices and religious voices that are crying out at the present time and we too, I believe, have to cry out, “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; and show My people their sins,” call them to repentance. So that aspect is important, but are you ready to lead in the world tomorrow, but more importantly, are you exercising godly leadership in your life on a daily basis in the here and now? So this question applies to everyone, to father, to mother, to husband, to wife, to brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, uncles, aunts, cousins, young and old. This question is for us. Are you ready to lead and are you willing to lead?
Look at Isaiah 3, beginning in verse 3, Isaiah 3:3 Isaiah 3:3The captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counselor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.
American King James Version×, with regard to this prophecy, we are in a time in which people really don't want the responsibility for the most part, and those who want it probably shouldn't have it. But on the other hand, you know, Paul writes in Timothy that if you desire the office of a bishop, you desire good work. You have to desire to do something, to have influence, to lead. You just sit back and do nothing. What good is that? Isaiah 3:3 Isaiah 3:3The captain of fifty, and the honorable man, and the counselor, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.
American King James Version×, ''The captain of fifty and the honorable man, and the counselor and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator. And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.'' A lot of parents are held captive by their children because the children make all kinds of threats. “I'll do this. I'll do that. I'll run away. You'll never see me again.” Or whatever the threat might be.
Brethren we must not compromise with the Word of God. “And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, everyone by his neighbor: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honorable.” There is nothing sacred anymore. No person is left untouched, not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Let them all have it. Level the whole playing field. There was no honor to be given to anyone, who are you? “When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, ‘You have clothing, be you our ruler,’” show some leadership “‘and let this ruin be under your hand.' In that day shall the answer… shall he swear, saying, 'I will not be an healer; or in my house is neither bread or clothing: make me not a ruler other people.’''
If you want to lead, if you want to be effective, you have to prepare and you have to want to. Do you want to make a difference in this world? There are all kinds of people with severe handicaps that have made a difference in the world. We're all influencing people in a positive or negative manner. And one of the aspects of leadership is influence. Who are you influencing and how are you influencing them? Every word we utter, every step we take, every action we take is an action of influence. Somebody is watching and especially the members of your own household. So in view of all the challenges that lie before each one of us this coming year, what are your goals and plans for meeting those challenges? Can you provide an answer for the hope that lies within you?
The apostle Peter on the inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes this is 1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
American King James Version×. A verse we should all have committed to memory, 1 Peter 3:15 1 Peter 3:15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
American King James Version×, ''But sanctify” set apart “the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer… for every… to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.'' This world desperately needs to understand the great questions of life. I briefly covered those in the Bible study Friday night. Does God exist is perhaps one of the greatest question. Maybe the greatest question of all times. Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
American King James Version×, says “For those who would come to God must [first of all] believe that He is,” that He exists. If you don't believe that God exists, then you're going nowhere spiritually. So must believe in God “He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Then who is God? God is our Father. We are made in His image.
In Isaiah 63:16 Isaiah 63:16Doubtless you are our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: you, O LORD, are our father, our redeemer; your name is from everlasting.
American King James Version×and also an Isaiah 64:8 Isaiah 64:8But now, O LORD, you are our father; we are the clay, and you our potter; and we all are the work of your hand.
American King James Version×, it says that He's our Father. You are our Father. We are the potter… We are the clay. You are the potter, mold us, make us, shape us in your way. So who is God? He's our Father. He's our Creator. What is God? God is spirit. What is His great purpose? To bring sons and daughters to glory to His Kingdom. The reciprocal of that deals with men, who is man? Made in the image of God with faculties akin to God. He can think, he can reason, thinking the abstract, think about eternal life. What's going to happen after death and on it goes. What is man? Man is made from the dust of the ground with a physio-chemical existence. He is a living soul, but it doesn't have a soul and God's ordained a great plan of salvation, and the great purpose of man is to become a child of God in the Kingdom of God. Those seven questions basically summarize the very core to a large degree of why we're here. I would encourage you to review those every week at least once a week.
This world desperately needs to become as God is. I covered that on the first Holy Day from 1 Corinthians 13 where it talks about if I could speak in tongues, if I have all knowledge, I have all faith so that I could move mountains. You know, all of the prophetic things, the why, when, where, and who, yet, if you're not becoming as God is it profits nothing. Even if you gave your body to be burned, it says it profits nothing. So I hope that we are understanding 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 1 Corinthians 13:1-3  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing.
American King James Version×. If you were to get nothing else out of this Feast then understand that God expects us to become as He is, that it wouldn't be worth it.
How can you lead if you don't know what the ultimate goal is? Matthew 5:48 Matthew 5:48Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
American King James Version×says, ''Become you therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” And people don't like to be thought of as perfect. ''Oh I'm not perfect. Oh, I'm not holy,” but the Bible says, “become you therefore perfect.” The Bible says, "Be you holy, even as I am holy." A leader develops goals that is the clear vision of where he wants to lead, those whom he is responsible for. Does your family understand where you're trying to lead them? A leader developed strategies for reaching those goals. Those strategies would include the things you must do to reach your goals. What do you have to do? The Word of God sets the goal, “Become you perfect,” “Be you holy” and “Seek first the Kingdom of God.” The Bible provides the plan. Mr. Martin talked about that. The plan is there, the blueprint, the roadmap for reaching your destination.
So we ask once again, are you becoming as God is? Are you filled with zeal or are you just treading water and going through the motions. “Having a form of righteousness but denying the power thereof.” The thereof is the essence of God. Denying the power thereof. What is thereof? The thereof is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables, it reveals, it guides, it tugs on your heartstrings, but it is up to you to yield to the mind of the Spirit. And of course, if you are not putting the Word of God into your mind, then you are even a greater disadvantage. Remember when you emphasized the scripture in the Bible Study of John 6:63 John 6:63It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
American King James Version×if you don't know John 6:63 John 6:63It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
American King James Version×. If you don't have it memorized, you don't understand it, now's the time it says, ''The flesh profits nothing… It is a spirit that quickens… makes alive… the words I speak, they are spirit, and they are life." Thus the Word of God is equated with the Spirit of God and life. The Spirit of God is the enabler. It convicts you and lead you, it guide you, it tugs. It can teach you if you put your heart and mind into the Word of God. Thoughts can come into your mind and you can be led here and there. Here a line, there a little. Helps you put things together, but you have to open the Word.
So having a form of righteousness, denying the power thereof. We don't want that had happened to us. We're warned in 1 Thessalonians 5, I think it's verse 19. ''Quench not the Spirit.” Quench not the Spirit that tug, that knowing within that new conscience. So literally conscience means that knowing within. The knowing within and if the Word of God and the Spirit of God leads, you don't quench it. We need zeal and enthusiasm for following God's way of life. Let's notice in now John 2, the gospel of John 2, gospel of John 2. The zeal that Jesus Christ had, He's our example. We should follow in His steps. So many people look at Jesus Christ as meek and mild little lamb. He did come as a Lamb and give Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, but yet He taught them as one having authority. The religious leaders were astounded because He taught them as one having authority. We don't need to apologize for the Word of God.
So Jesus Christ comes to Jerusalem and what does He do? This is John 2:13 John 2:13And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
American King James Version×''And the Jews' Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: and when He had made a scourge of small cords, He drove them out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overturned the tables; and said unto them that sold doves, ‘Take those things from here; Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise.’'' And now you look at the verse 17, ''And His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘The zeal of your house has eaten me up.’''
One of the paradoxes that seems of our time is that the more the world news leads us to see that this world is changing so rapidly that it seems that people retreat into themselves, they become more lukewarm as opposed to more zealous and enthusiastic. It's ironic that it doesn't seem that it will be that way. And so, we really need to hear and to heed. What do you think is the most destructive attitude that you can be in? Most destructive attitude that you can fall into? Of course, bitterness is one of the greatest destructive attitudes says in Hebrews 12, that a lot of people have been destroyed by bitterness. But I think one of the greatest destructive attitudes that is engulfing, especially the youth and it's apparent with older people as well, is I don't care. The I don't care state of mind. If you come to the point that you don't care, then it's pretty much over. I tell you, renew the deep desire to be in the Kingdom of God. “I don't care.”
Now listen to this, your state of mind is perhaps the greatest key to seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, your state of mind. You know, I used to be a college football coach, high school football coach too, and one of the things that we always talked about, is desire, “Son, you got to want it, you got to desire it. You’ve got to be filled with desire.” But many times over what any coach might be able to say that any athlete of any sport is that you have to deeply desire the Kingdom of God and must be willing to forsake all. You remember the rich young ruler who came to Christ saying, ''Master what good thing must I do to enter the Kingdom of God?'' And Christ said, ''If you would behold, keep the commandments.'' He said, ''That I've done from my youth. Why do I need yet?'' He said, ''If you would behold, go sell everything you have and give it to the poor.'' And the young man went away sorrowful because he had great riches. He cannot even rend his physical goods much less his spiritual self and surrender and submit. Life has been made to appear cheap by the movies, by television, by video games, wars, mass murder. More and more youth are being conditioned to view life as cheap, meaningless and without purpose.
The age of nothingness and many youth come to church with a turned-off state of mind, and I urge you not to do that. I've seen a lot of bright-eyed young people here at this Feast and I don't think a lot of them recognize. Hopefully, they do. Hopefully, we take a cue from Mr. Zimmerman's sermon about our vision of what we can be, to educate yourself, to prepare yourself to desire, to want to be. Any person can become a couch potato. And I've seen a lot of people wind up as couch potatoes with addicted to video games and that kind of thing. So if you come to church with a turned-off state of mind, and have already determined that no appeal, no sound reasoning, no appeal to emotion or any other thing will move. You will see you are a victim of, “I don't care, I don't care I'm just seeking my own thing. I want to be cool.” And we have a tyranny of a peer group, and now it's not only with youth, it's also with the adults. And the only commandment, and I mentioned this, I think in the first sermon, is that the only commandment that really has any grip onto days citizenry is the politically correct.
You must be tolerant or to say it negatively, you must not be intolerant. I've observed youth here, who have great potential and I hope you reach it. Satan has stolen the identity of many of our youth, and I'm talking about nationwide and you're going to happen in the Church as well. Do you realize who you are? Do you realize that you are tantamount to what Esau was presented with? Esau was the firstborn. Esau should have gotten the birthright being the firstborn. The birthright was a sacred thing, but Esau placed more emphasis on the physical here and now than on his birthright. The opportunity to inherit and the birthright is a gift from God. You can be a part out the firstfruits. And when you come to a holy convocation and you whip out your cell phone, you show that you are in open rebellion against God and the opportunity He's given you to sit in a holy convocation, meaning it even says in Corinthians that “you are sanctified.” You are set apart. That's equal to being in the Garden of Eden. The tree of life that's set before you. Oh, people might say, ''Oh, if I were in the Garden of Eden, I surely would not have done what Eve did. I wouldn't do what Adam did.'' Brethren in a metaphorical sense symbolic sense, but even when it gets down to reality. We're here with the tree of life being presented to eat of the table of God.
I wonder if people realize that you dishonor yourself, your parents, your friends, brethren, and most importantly, God. You're opposing yourself, just like Esau did. He threw away his birthright for a bowl of soup. Would you like to throw away the Kingdom of God for a cell phone? I was talking with Mr. Goethals who's here in the Seattle area. He said, ''A few years ago they asked the students, “Your house is on fire. Who would you save first?'' “My parents.” Today, your house is on fire. What would you save first? “My cellphone.” We must not treat the sacred as profane. Being here can mean everything. The saddest words of tongue or pen are those of why could it be? How many “what could have beens” have I seen come and go. I've been in a formal teaching situation for 58 years. How many could have beens have I seen in the classroom, how many could have beens have I seen on the athletic field, how many could have beens have I in the Church of God? I've seen hundreds or even thousands. You have to have the vision.
We're witnessing a perfect storm with regard to the generations. Let's go to Proverbs 30. Proverbs 30, Proverbs 30:11 Proverbs 30:11There is a generation that curses their father, and does not bless their mother.
American King James Version×, ''There is a generation that curses their father, and does not bless their mother.'' The statistics show that way over half of murders are committed by family members against each other. “There's a generation that are pure in their own eyes,” Oh, yeah we know it all. I mean ”You dumb clucks, you don't even know how to get on the internet.” “There is a generation that pure in their own eyes and yet is not washed from their filthiness. There is a generation how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up. There is a generation whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.” Perfect storm is when all of this comes together at once. As a whole, they are opposing themselves. Esau opposed himself. I've seen a lot of people oppose themselves.
In one of the forums I used to give at the college was, are you opposing yourself? Let's look at 2 Timothy 2. Timothy addresses that very thing in 2 Timothy 2, starting in verse 22, in 2 Timothy 2:22 2 Timothy 2:22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
American King James Version×, ''Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with these… with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, and apt to teach, patient in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves.'' Did you realize that you're opposing yourself when you go the other way when you get into the "I don't care." When you fall into the trap and the snare that others have laid for you, oftentimes in the name of friendship. Those that oppose themselves, “…if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and if they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” You can resist Satan the devil. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” That's what James writes.
I don't know if what we have just covered here should be said by any of us or about any of us, young or old. Note the words of the psalmist, Psalms 119:9 Psalms 119:9Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to your word.
American King James Version×. Psalms 119:9 Psalms 119:9Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to your word.
American King James Version×. I used to have young men and women would come to me when we're at the college. They would have various addictions. “How do I break this addiction?” And Psalm 119 was like the cornerstone, the anchor of where you would go for the counseling. Verse 9 of Psalm 119, ''Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?’' You want to be cleaned up, you want to break the addiction, you want to break the chains that bind. Here's how you can do it, “by taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart have I sought You: O let me not wander from Your commandments. Your words have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against You.” “The words I speak, they are spirit and they are life." It is a part of the armor of God taking the sword, the Word of God. There's a part in the armor, and on your knees you make these things your prayer. Psalm 119 is a treasure trove of so many things. There are so many call to action verbs in there where the person writing this is like a prayer “make me”, “cause me”, to like “just take me by the nape of the neck and make me do what I need to do.”
The Word of God stands fast. God who cannot lie has spoken to all of us and He's speaking to us today. I know in some of the things that I might say, some might curl their toes, feel a bit uncomfortable, but brethren, we must say the things that need to be said. God who cannot lie, has spoken to all of us and is speaking to us today. And I say, if you hear His voice, harden not your heart or you can always harden your heart. You can always be turned off. “Oh, He just offends me” or whatever you might want to say.
Look at Ecclesiastes 11. I mean this advice in Ecclesiastes 11:9 Ecclesiastes 11:9Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know you, that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
American King James Version×, and then the call to remembrance after says these things, Ecclesiastes 11:9 Ecclesiastes 11:9Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know you, that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
American King James Version×, ‘'Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes:” enjoy life. Yes, it's not wrong to have fun, to have friends with the right kind of fun, but the right kind of friends and the understanding that you have a goal, that you want to amount to something in this life that you're not going to throw it away for some cheap something that only lasts in some cases a few minutes but could affect you for the rest of your life. “But know, that for all these things” whatever it is, “God will bring you into judgment.” As it says in Galatians, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.”
It's the spiritual law and you must take heed to it and, of course, the best remedy is to repent, to turn around, to seek the right way, hide the Word of God in your heart. How shall a young man cleanse his way? How shall any of us? By hiding the Word of God in our heart. “Therefore remove sorrow from your heart, and put away evil from your flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity.” Temporary. From the time, of course, people talk about the terrible teens and the teen years and it is a challenge in today's world. We don't even remotely understand the challenges that our youth are faced with out there in this world. So a word to the wise should be sufficient. We can ask ourselves, are we one of the wise or do we sit in the seat of the scornful?
Look at Psalm 1. Psalm 1, I wrote an article on cynicism in the United News. It appeared I don't know, a year or two ago about this very thing of cynicism, the scornful if they don't change, eventually wind up in the seat of the scornful. Psalms 1:1 Psalms 1:1Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
American King James Version×, ''Blessed is a man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,’' I mean, if you're walking in the council of the ungodly, you become generally what you associate with or with whom you associate, “nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,” and it gives a contrast of the ungodly. The human condition can only be helped through the power and the Spirit of God.
The regeneration of the human condition can only come through the power of the Spirit of God. So many people that are associated with the Church are on a knowledge trip instead of a conversion trip. For many, they've committed themselves to a body of doctrine, but they never developed an intimate relationship, personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ.
One of the things I emphasize with our Sabbath school teachers, leaders is to teach these children to have a relationship with God, cradle to grave education, saying you're the prayers with them at night as you lay them down to sleep. A lot of the parents have told me about it. “Well, you know, I'm amazed at what my children say in their prayers” and we all can have that. Children can be taught to talk to God, develop a relationship with Him. In order to be in the Kingdom of God, you have to have a personal relationship with God and Christ and the truth. You must know the truth and live the truth.
Back several years ago two of our granddaughters were, I guess, one was like three or four and the other was maybe five or six and my daughter had made cookies. And dinner time was coming on and she said, ''Well, you can't have any of these cookies till after dinner. And they said, ''Well, can't we have one now?'' And the oldest daughter then started talking about, well, the younger daughter hears, she claims that God talks to her, and a younger daughter said, ''Yeah, God does talk to me. He says, ''You can have a cookie.'' So this personal, intimate relationship with God. Once again, cradle to grave education. Let's look at Hebrews 13.
In Hebrews 13 says we are a spiritual house. Peter says in 1 Peter 2, and we are built up as living stones in this spiritual house to offer spiritual sacrifices. One of the main spiritual sacrifice is that we can offer of course is the fruit of our lips. That is our communication with God. In Hebrews 13:13 Hebrews 13:13Let us go forth therefore to him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
American King James Version×, ''Let us go forth therefrom under Him without the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name.” “Let all things should be done with thanksgiving.” That’s what Paul writes in Philippians 4. Be you thankful in all things and rejoice evermore. See being thankful, we recognize who God is, what He is, and He owns everything. “But to do good and communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices to God is well pleased.” So all of us can be taught to talk to God, to give and offer up those sacrifices, the fruit of our lips.
In some of our surveys, people say that they want to know how they can overcome and prepare for the Kingdom of God. Well virtually, every sermon that just given is filled with what you need to do to be in the Kingdom of God. Not all. We have heard so much here at this Feast of what we need to do, and that's why I titled it, “We Have Heard; What Will We Do?” Well, for some reason the simplicity that is in Christ oftentimes evades our understanding, like the people that Paul addressed on Mars Hill, philosophers that were there who wanted to hear some new thing and searching the internet and wondering, ''Well, what about this and what about that?'' We must not come to this point. Let's look at Isaiah 30. Isaiah 30, I think Isaiah was one of the most neglected books in our teaching. It is a long book and it has so much information in it to how long would it take a church area to cover the book of Isaiah? Put it all together, a long time, but I would encourage you to really study the book of Isaiah.
In Isaiah 30, beginning in verse 8, ''Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever: that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: which say to the seers, ‘See not’; and to the prophets ‘Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, because the Holy One of Israel… cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before you.’ Wherefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereupon: therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, who's breaking come suddenly at an instant.'' Brethren, we are continually warned from the Word of God. The Word of God cries out to the ministry and all of us for that matter. It shouldn't just be, look at 1 Timothy 4.
These verses here, we have tried to emphasize more and more in the Council of Elders developing the program “Labor in the Word” about preaching the Word. There are two great convicting agents. Those two great convicting agents are the Spirit of God and the Word of God. In 1 Timothy 4:1 1 Timothy 4:1Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
American King James Version×, ''Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times…’' We talk about the latter times say that we're living in the latter times, “some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies and hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” see the conscious, the knowing within, it's seared, they can't distinguish between right and wrong anymore.
So many of the people that I have dealt with and my heart has cried over that I taught an ambassador and our pastor to wherever it was and whatever situation, circumstance that has left the Church, and you cry over them and they say, ''Oh, we still believe in God. We just believe you need to be a good person and try to live your life right.'' Of course, Luke says, ''Why call Me Lord, Lord, and do not to say that I say?” So they make God over in their own image. “Well, God wouldn't do this. God wouldn't send me to hell for such and such.”
My brother attends a church in Benoit, Mississippi is just north of Greenville. They call it Benoit Union Church. One Sunday they have a Baptist, the next Sunday to have a Presbyterian, next Sunday they have a Methodist. And they alternate. If there's a fifth Sunday the Baptist get it, but the Presbyterian minister is a woman and my brother said, ‘'I don’t think God is going to send me to hell for listening to a woman. After all, she's the best preacher we got.'' The Bible is very clear on women not being preachers, but anyhow. That's a difference subject. “Having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” they can't distinguish between right and wrong, “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving of them to believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be taken away.”
Now I want to go to 2 Timothy. In view of all of the things that lie before us, you can't make God over in your own image. I mean if God were to give humankind permission to just say, ''Well, I believe God would do this and I believe in God, but here's what I believe God would do or say.’' No, God has made it very clear what He would do or what He says. You're just left to human reasoning. 2 Timothy 4:1 2 Timothy 4:1I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
American King James Version×, ''I charge you therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick [the living] and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and be shall be turned to fables.''
Brethren, you have a sure word of prophecy that Peter calls it in your lap and hopefully you will never let that happen to you. So each one of us must honestly ask himself herself, “Am I seeking first the Kingdom of God?” I suspect that all of us have been caught up in the cares of this world to some degree, to the point that we’re weary. One of the most common things I hear from people is “I'm tired. I'm tired and I'm weary.” And Paul warns us in Galatians, you know, “Don't be weary with well doing… especially to those of the household of faith,” that's Galatians 6:7-10 Galatians 6:7-10  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.
 For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially to them who are of the household of faith.
American King James Version×. We must always believe God and do what He says. That's the simplest definition of faith. You know I can quote Hebrews 11:1 Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
American King James Version×‘’…substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.'' But in simplest terms, believe God and do what He says. That's what Abraham did. He believed God. He did what He said, God delivered him.
That is, we must live by faith. Now, look at Ephesians 6 and back a few pages. I want to focus on this aspect of the armor of God. We're admonished in Ephesians 6, to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against [the evil spirits in high places.]’’ I want to focus on this one verse here, verse 16, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, where will you should be able to quench all the fiery darts” of Satan. How's that possible? Because if you know and you know that you know that God will deliver you anything that Satan throws against your mind either spiritually or physically, it will fall harmlessly at your feet.
One of the themes of my theme songs through the ages has been keep the big picture of burning brightly in your minds. Hope is the helmet of salvation, which means we must keep the big picture burning brightly in our minds. God expects us to do the first works. What are the first works? They were mentioned here at the Feast talked about those first works of judgment, mercy, and faith, the weightier matters of the law. We need to teach and live the culture of God today. As I wrote in my pre-Feast chairman's letter, we must live the Feast and Holy Days now. This is the only time that we can live as the world will be living. There'll be people in the flesh keeping the Holy Days and the Millennium. Well, we're living in the flesh now and we know what the Holy Days mean, and the symbolism of it is for us to live right now. So I ask do we really had the vision? We're involved in the battle of the ages. We are going to restore God's government and culture in the Millennium.
So let us earnestly pray every day “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” And I want to leave you with God's blessings on the Israel of God. This is taken from the book of Numbers, as I said, my wife and I wanted to have really enjoyed being here for the Feast, and seeing all of you and fellowshipping and eating at God's table. Here's the blessing taken from the book of Numbers. Until we meet again, “May the Lord bless you, and keep you: the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”